He woke up and opened the curtains. The sunlight dazzled him, as another glorious day began. He opened the window and took in a breath of the fresh air, exhaling exaggeratedly. A new start lay ahead.
He had slept well, the best rest he could remember for a long time. He thought his mind would have been disturbed, but he only felt an overwhelming sense of calmness. There were no dreams or nightmares or visions of her blood-spattered body lying broken at the bottom of the gully. Only now, as he waited for the kettle to boil, did he think back on the previous evening.
They had spent the day walking up the steep tracks along the side of the mountain, gradually ascending to the top in time to catch the sunset as planned. It had been a pleasant day, almost pleasant enough to make him reconsider. In the end though, as they had stood, arm-in-arm on the crest of the peak, he had resolved to go through with it.
As she nattered away inanely, ruining the peaceful moment of beauty, he knew it was time for them to part.
Other walkers and climbers had descended already, not wishing to make the trek down in the encroaching darkness of twilight.
It came easier to him than he had thought. He had no reservations and it was over with one swift shove. She teetered for a moment, her hands clawing, reaching out to grab onto him. He merely stepped out of her reach. The look of terror in her eyes hadn’t caused him to change his mind.
And then she had disappeared over the edge. There had been that piercing scream, followed by a sickening thud. Then nothing but blissful silence.
The doorbell rang at the same moment as the kettle clicked. He frowned, an early morning delivery perhaps. He walked to the door and opened it.
He nodded. Panic gripped his heart, but he maintained his calm exterior.
‘Police, sir. A few questions, if you don’t mind.’
‘Certainly, officer. About what? My wife is still asleep in the bedroom.’ A polite smile, appearance unruffled.
‘Well, sir, turns out your mistress is tougher than you realised.’